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Govt to start wider consultations on Uniform Civil Code

Government today said it will move on implementation of the controversial Uniform Civil Code as per the spirit of the Constitution and will start at the earliest the process wider consultations for a consensus.

“I assure the House to move forward on the Uniform Civil Code and it is our duty to implement it…We will move forward as mandated by the Constitution,” Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said in the Rajya Sabha.

Replying to a question by Rajeev Shukla (Cong) on whether the country is prepared to have such a code, he said the Government will initiate wider consultation at the “earliest” to evolve a consensus as it will strengthen the status of women.

The Uniform Civil Code covers marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.

“The code is based on the assumption that the personal laws based on scriptures and customs of each religious community in the country be replaced with a common set governing every citizen in a civilised society,” he said.

Referring to a form of uniform civil code in Goa, which is accepted by all in the state, Gowda said the aim is having a code for the country which is agreed by all.

He, however, made it clear that the code should not be in conflict with Article 25 of the Constitution of India, which relates to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.

Invoking the Article, K Rehman Khan (Congress) raised the issue of scriptures in Quran followed religiously by Muslims and sought to know whether the Code was not in conflict with religious beliefs.

“For this only, I said this is a sensitive issue and we should work out the modalities so as the Code is not in conflict with Article 25,” the Minister added.

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